Last week, state Sen. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, announced that she has been named as a Finalist in the NewDEAL 2021 Ideas Challenge due to her efforts “to protect natural resources through agricultural and environmental alliances.”
Ausley was signaled out for her proposal “to bring the environmental, aquaculture and agricultural communities together to quantify ways that these industries contribute to long-term sustainability and resiliency goals” since “the benefits of these services will encourage and incentivize best practices and modern farming techniques that are integral to the protection of critical natural resources not just in North Florida, but for our entire state.”
The contest is sponsored by the NewDEAL which defines itself as a “national network of rising state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives” whose “mission is to bring together leaders focused on expanding opportunity and to help them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable.”
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., and Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin chair the organization. Ausley is active with the organization at the state level. So are State Attorney Dave Aronberg, former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, state Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St Petersburg, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, state Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former state Rep. Margaret Good, state Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, D-Parkland, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., and gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami.
“The annual NewDEAL competition focuses on innovative state and local policymakers’ ideas that look to solve our nation’s problems in six key areas. Ausley is a finalist in the ‘Securing our communities and our planet” category.’ The proposals are judged by a diverse panel of judges and policy experts who select the winners based on which idea will most improve Americans’ quality of life,” Ausley’s office noted.
“I am honored to be named a finalist and to be included in this group of talented leaders across the country,” said Ausley. “Political rhetoric will not solve our problems; it takes common sense solutions proposed by state and local leaders closest to the needs of our constituents and communities. The NewDEAL Ideas Challenge does just that, and I’m excited to share our legislation that creates a program to bring the agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental communities together to create a more sustainable Florida.”
First elected to the Florida House in 2000, Ausley faced term limits in 2008. She was the Democratic nominee to be state CFO in 2010 but lost to Republican Jeff Atwater. Ausley bounced back to win a state House seat in 2016 and won a state Senate seat in 2020 when she bested Republican Marva Preston by 6 percent.